Thursday, January 31, 2008

Identifying the Enemy

By Alan Caruba

Some very good news arrived when it was flashed across the world that Abu Laith al-Libi had been killed. He was generally credited to be the number three top terrorist in al Qaeda.

He gained fame appearing in several Internet videos, most notably last August when he criticized the Palestinian Hamas party for spending too much time on “politics” and not enough on jihad. We’re talking one serious terrorist dude here.

The U.S. listed him as one of a dozen most-wanted and put a price of $200,000 on his head. The problem with the folks in Afghanistan and the North Waziristan area of Pakistan is that guys like al-Libi and, of course, Osama, are their heroes.

The best part of the story is that it’s reported he was taken out by an armed drone. That means someone operating it spotted him, the information when up the military chain of command super quick, and someone gave the authorization to blow him up. I regard that as a triumph of U.S. technology and efficiency. Some medals and citations need to be handed out.

Though we don’t hear that much about it, I am under the distinct impression that al Qaeda is being seriously degraded. That same drone is likely to find a very tall Saudi on horseback late at night and high on some mountainous trail. It will be goodbye Osama.

The death of al Libi (it means the Libyan in Arabic) is a reminder of just how crazy those in the upper echelons of al Qaeda really are. He was famed for setting up suicide bombing missions. This is another way of saying he didn’t mind killing people much. You don’t negotiate with people like this. You kill them until there are no more left.

The United States has plenty of enemies, but some of them are not as obvious as al Libi. Take, for example, those who devote themselves to doing as much harm as possible to the nation. These are the so-called environmentalists who devote all their time to making sure that every kind of industry and business in America has to divert time and money to meeting their demands. Lies are their chief currency.

One of them recently told an audience that “We just have to slow down our economy” according to Jack Tapper, an ABC News senior national correspondent. The full quote was “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ‘cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

Save our planet? The greenhouse gas most commonly referred to by the Greens is carbon dioxide (CO2). It represents just 0.038% of the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the current scientific data all seems to point toward a cooling planet, not a warming one. As this is written, China is experiencing some of the worst blizzards in modern memory. Other parts of the world are reporting the same. The U.S. has been thoroughly pummeled this winter.

So there is no scientific basis to “save our planet” and cutting back on CO2 emissions is just code for limiting the use of virtually all forms of energy with the exception of nuclear that does not emit CO2 as it provides some 20 percent of the nation’s electrical needs.

Meanwhile, even the hint of a recession has the stock market going up and down like a yo-yo, the dollar’s value heading south, and a variety of other unpleasant consequences. The economy has been slowing down thanks to the subprime mortgage mess. Even Congress got scared enough to come up with a big handout of money to Americans.

So just who is this person recommending we slow down the economy? It is former President William Clinton. Sometimes you discover that your nation’s enemy has been right in front of you all the time. The rumor is his wife wants to be your next President.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Polar Bear Lies

By Alan Caruba

We live in a day when lies about polar bears are used to deny Americans access to the vast oil reserves—billions of barrels—that are known to exist in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and coastal areas. Extracting it would barely take up a fraction of one percent of ANWR and, as with the previous oil development, the wildlife are totally indifferent and unaffected.

The lie is that polar bears will become extinct in fifty years if they are not declared “endangered species” under the utterly useless, stupid legislation that environmentalists pushed through as yet another means to harm the economy. Polar bears are not endangered. Their numbers have risen from 5,000 in the 1950s to an estimated 22,000 today.

Think I am making this up? As the American Land Rights Association recently noted, “Ask timber workers in the West whose industry was all but eliminated by critical habitat designation for the spotted owl—whose numbers were later found to be declining, not because of logging, but due to invasion of its habitat by the more aggressive barred owl.”

“Ask those who used to farm in Oregon’s Klamath Valley who lost their irrigation water to protect fish that were later found to not be harmed by using the water for irrigation.”

“Ask the ranchers in Idaho’s Owyhee County who finally threw in the towel after their grazing allotments were so severely restricted they couldn’t continue.”

These are just three examples of the war on the timber industry, farming and ranching that is the hallmark of the environmental movement. They view oil as their greatest enemy and that is why there is a great push on to get the polar bears declared endangered.

What is endangered is a nation that already has to import most of its oil because so much of our national supplies and potential reserves are off limits.

What is endangered is the right of loggers, farmers, ranchers and all others who are an essential element of our economy to go about their business.

There are people in our government you need to contact NOW!

Joshua Bolton, Chief of Staff @ (202) 456-6798 - Fax: (202) 456-0192

Patrick Aylward, Director, Office of the Chief of Staff @ (202) 456-6798 - Fax: (202) 456-0192

Edward Gillespie, WH Communications @ (202) 456-7910 - Fax: (202) 456-1539

Cynthia Bergman, Communications @ (202) 456-2777 - Fax: (202) 456-2505

Joseph Hagin, Assistant to the President @ (202) 456-6798 - Fax: (202) 456-1907

Emily Willeford, Office of Deputy Chief @ (202) 456-2450 - Fax: (202) 456-1907

Fred Fielding, White House Counsel @ (202) 456-2632 - Fax: (202) 456-6279

There is no legal, factual or scientific basis for declaring that polar bears are threatened or endangered. Under the ESA, a species is "threatened" if it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Total polar bear population is about 22,000 animals.

There is no danger to arctic habitats and no evidence of imminent threat to polar bears.

Computer models, hype, headlines and pressure tactics are not evidence.

Temperatures in Alaska have ranged from +100 (Fort Yukon, 1915) down to -80 (Prospect Creek, 1976). Any analysis beginning in 1975 will likely show a warming trend upward from a very cold period. The polar bears survived both and will continue to do just fine.

Contact Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne @ (202) 208-3100

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Which Day Would You Prefer?

This post is a text by my friend Robert W. Felix, author of "Not by Fire, But by Ice", a book based on research indicating the earth is on the cusp of a new ice age. - AC

Which one day of the week do you want to live?

Which one day of the week do you want to run the electricity in your home?
Al Gore makes it sound as if all you’ll need to do is use a few of those curlycue light bulbs, but cutting your energy use by 80 percent will require drastic lifestyle changes.

Which one day of the week do you want to drive?
Al Gore wants to force you to cut your energy use by 80 percent. How else do you think that will happen? (Will you even be allowed to own a car? More than one car will most certainly be considered frivolous.)

Which one day of the week do you want to run your furnace?
How else will you cut your energy use by 80 percent?

Which one day of the week do you want to use your computer?
Remember, electricity only one day per week.

Which one day of the week do you want to wash and dry your hair?
Oops. Forget the hair dryer - too frivolous.

Which one day of the month do you want to wash your clothes and hang them out to dry?
Forget the clothes dryer - too frivolous.

Which one day of the week to you want to run your dishwasher?
Forget the dishwasher - too frivolous.

Which one day of the week do you want to run your air conditioner?
Forget the air conditioner –– too frivolous.

Which one day of the week will you want to go to work?
With all of the businesses shutting down, who’s going to need you?

Which exotic foods are you prepared to give up? Grapes? Lettuce? Oranges? Bananas? Those may not sound very exotic to you, but if it’s not grown within 50 miles of your home, forget it - transportation costs will be too frivolous.

How many people are you willing to have move into your home?
It won't take long before some convenient scientist will create a study that shows that the average person requires only 200 square feet of floor space. If you have a 3,000 square-foot house, you should therefore have room for 15 people. If you have four people in your family, you'll be required to - voluntarily - allow eleven homeless people to move in free of charge.

Don't laugh, Comrade. I'll bet someone is already working on this. (Remember Dr. Zhivago?)

Al Gore wants to force you to cut your energy use by 80 percent.
Do you really want to follow someone who is intent on destroying your way of life?

Please think about it.

Robert W. Felix, author of Not by Fire but by Ice, maintains that we are now headed into an ice age, and that this would be the worst possible time to restrict energy use. Felix is also the editor of

Monday, January 28, 2008


By Alan Caruba

An interesting thing happened in Prague last November. There was, so far as I can determine, virtually no news of the event except in a few newspapers that might be expected to cover it.

The place was Prague, but what precipitated the event had occurred in 1938 in Nazi Germany and had come to be called “Kristallnacht”, the night of broken glass when synagogues and other places associated with Jews were attacked and destroyed.

By the time it ended, Nazi stormtroopers had killed 91 Jews and 30,000 others had been rounded up and sent to concentration camps. It marked the beginning of what was to be known as “the final solution”, the deliberate murder of millions of European Jews that has since been called the Holocaust.

In Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, the word went out that several hundred neo-Nazis were preparing to march on the city’s Jewish quarter on the 69th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

They found themselves confronted by thousands of Czechs who filled the streets that Sabbath Saturday to show their solidarity with their nation’s Jews. Masses of non-Jews showed up wearing yellow Stars of David inscribed with the word “Jude”, the same symbol the Nazis had required Jews to wear.

There were some bloody street fights, but the 1,400 police who had been mobilized, along with the sheer numbers of the anti-Nazi protesters were sufficient to maintain the peace. It was the first time in recent memory that residents of a former Eastern bloc capital had taken to the streets to protest anti-Semitism.

Only about 1,500 Jews live in Prague, but an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 protesters were on hand for the day’s events that included prayer, musical performances, and presentations by Holocaust survivors that were projected on a large outdoor screen.

While there are probably less than 1,000 active neo-Nazis in the Czech Republic, there are others throughout Europe and anti-Semitism, though muted, remains a part of European culture.

Prague Mayor, Pavel Bern, addressed thousands during a ceremony sponsored by the Jewish Liberal Union. “We need to cultivate the national memory to avoid what happened in the past.” The Nazis murdered 80,000 of Czechoslovakia’s 120,000 Jews during World War II.

The Czechs remembered. They came together to protest the evil of anti-Semitism, but we all have to remember and we all have to protest whenever some group, any group, is singled out from the family of man for murder.

When the Iranian leaders say the Holocaust is a myth, the truth cries out from six million graves. We must not be silent. When they threaten tiny Israel with nuclear death, we must not be silent. We must say to ourselves, “Never again.”

We must all become Jews in the face of evil. Silence is the ally of those who would perpetrate such horrors.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The State of Bush's Mind

By Alan Caruba

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…Article II, Section 3, U.S. Constitution.

I don’t know when I concluded that the annual State of the Union speech was some kind of sad, bad political theater, but it was a very long time ago. When George W. Bush delivers his last such speech Monday evening, I will watch with the same interest I have for a documentary on venomous reptiles. Something he says might jump up to bite me.

This speech has, over the years, devolved into a laundry list of things any President says he wants Congress to do which, in practice, never get done. We have been witness, since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2004, to a legislative body that was incapable of agreeing on anything other than the insertion of “earmarks” in various bills designed to keep the wheels of government from falling off.

Its major accomplishment has been a so-called “Energy Bill” that, among other very bad ideas, intends to ban the incandescent light bulb starting in 2012. It is a disaster of inaction regarding the nation’s vast untapped potential oil and natural gas reserves. It mandates ethanol use otherwise known as "moonshine" and the burning of perfectly good corn for no good reason.

Only a financial crisis such as the current one affecting the value of the dollar has managed to galvanize both Congress and the White House to action and that action was to borrow still more money in order to give it away in such small amounts as to be laughable.

The idea behind this largess was to “stimulate the economy”, but it is merely the political equivalent of a psychological boost. It is a “feel good” effort designed to hide the mess brought upon themselves by the greedy mental midgets who passed as financial geniuses trading mortgage debt.

It is highly unlikely that George W. Bush is going to tell us anything other than his view that the economy is essentially sound. It is not. The nation owes so much money that even a thirteen trillion dollar economy is not sufficient. The government borrows millions every day just to function.

The many “entitlement” programs conjured up since the days of FDR are finally coming due and there isn’t enough money to cover their promissory notes. Even with Social Security a few years from bankruptcy, President Bush still managed to sign legislation that added billions to the Medicare entitlement in the form of prescription benefits. Before that, he never saw a spending bill he would not sign.

Fiscal prudence arrived at the White House after 2006 when the Democrats gained control of Congress, but they are the ones who came up with all these entitlement programs in the first place and they are the ones trying to foist still more such programs on us in an effort to take over the nation’s health system.

Failing to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants into the nation is costing us billions and, by “us”, I mean the taxpayers who must cover the costs of their children’s education, their unpaid medical costs when they show up for free care at our hospitals, and the cost of the judicial system that must catch, process, and incarcerate them when they commit crimes. We don’t even deport them when they complete their sentence. Then there are the billions they siphon out of the economy and send home. Without it, the Mexican economy would collapse.

I would not even hazard to guess how much the endless regulation of every aspect of life and business in America costs, but it’s a fair guess to suggest that any reductions in this area of governmental activity would be a major savings.

I predict that George W. Bush will examine the State of the Union and find a very rosy scenario. If he points to any problems they will be ones with “Democrat” stamped on them, but the truth is that a lot of Republicans are just sick over the way he and others have laid waste to the principles of fiscal prudence and a strong defense that, among others, define the conservative approach to governance.

Americans are looking for one important and essential factor in whoever gets elected their next President, competence. Bush and those he appointed to offices of power and responsibility have, more often than not, proven to be astonishingly incompetent.

The United States of America is at peril of being “nibbled to death by little duckies” if it can’t face up to the real State of the Union. Lord knows, we have enough real enemies.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just How Crazy Is Al Gore?

By Alan Caruba

Just how crazy is Al Gore? That was the question that popped, once again, into my brain as I read a January 24 Agence France Press news story out of the Davos meeting of business and political elite. Gore asserted that, “the North Pole ice caps may disappear entirely during summer months within five years…”

I was instantly reminded of the story that ran in The New York Times in August 2000 claiming that the Pole was free of ice for the first time in 50 million years. It wasn’t, of course, because people who have actually been to the Arctic quickly noted that, in the summer, some ice actually does melt there. The Times retracted it three weeks later.

This kind of apocalyptic nonsense has been ratcheting upward ever since the new century began and my theory is that lunatics like Al Gore know that they are running out of time when it comes to imposing draconian restrictions on the use of every form of energy known to mankind. This is the purpose of the global warming hoax.

The Times later published another story about Arctic ice loss, adding the equally bogus issue of polar bears dying as the result. Currently, Greens are trying to get polar bears declared an “endangered species” in order to close off all of Alaska to any exploration or the extraction of the billions of barrels of oil known to exist there.

The problem with this latest ploy is that the polar bear population has risen from approximately 5,000 in 1950 to around 25,000 today as documented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the same agency being asked to declare the bears endangered and, for good measure, a species of loon as well.

Speaking of loons, Gore has been spewing forth his insane forecasts since the early 1990s during which time he published “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.” In fact, Gore blames everything that happens on Earth or in its atmosphere on humans. “Human civilization is now the dominant cause of change in the global environment.”

This must surely come as news to people who pursue volcanic, oceanic, solar, and atmospheric sciences. Then there are all those large and small earthquakes going on as tectonic plates shift. What have I left out? Oh, yes. There’s the tsunami in the Indian Ocean that devastated islands and parts of the mainland.

How about Hurricanes like Andrew and Katrina that rearranged the landscape enough to destroy big chunks of the human communities on it? Forest fires, anyone? Ask any Californian about them and, while you’re at it, ask about the mudslides, and…well, you get the picture. These are not manmade phenomenon.

Back in 2000 when the global warming folks were getting into high gear to further their theory, Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, paused to pen a commentary for The Wall Street Journal.

Responding to The New York Times fantasy of a melting North Pole, Dr. Singer asked, “Do we believe theoretical models of the atmosphere or the atmosphere itself?”

He might as well have asked, do we believe the bloviations of Al Gore or do we take note of his lifestyle that includes a house large enough to burn through more energy than twenty average homes, the use of private jets and limousines, or any other aspect of his life that suggests he is not into bicycles or walking.

Dr. Singer stated that “It is warmer now than it was 100 years ago” at the end of the last mini-Ice Age and that “This has had an influence on polar ice, which has been slowly thinning, as it melts from beneath. And the ice will continue to thin for some time to come even though the climate is no longer warming. Moral: It takes a lot of time to melt ice.”

No longer warming? Yes, that’s another inconvenient truth that Al Gore ignores. When you add in the fact that the earth is at the end of a well-known interglacial cycle of 11,500 years, large portions of the planet are likely to get a lot cooler with the advent of a new Ice Age.

Then Al Gore will not have to worry about a barren, rocky, ice-free North Pole. He will have to worry about a huge new glacier headed for Tennessee.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Killing Deer

By Alan Caruba

There’s hunting deer and there’s killing deer. Hunting is an ancient pastime and one enjoyed by both men and women in areas more congenial to it than the 2,047 acres of the South Mountain reservation near where I and several thousand suburbanites live. Most of us have never hunted anything other than a parking spot close to the mall entrance.

The reservation is shared by four New Jersey communities with some of the most highly prized homes in the State. Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn, and West Orange all border and include parts of it. The reservation has always had a population of white-tailed deer. Indeed, they are ubiquitous throughout the State. However, lacking any predators, their numbers have reached a point where they are literally destroying the vast wooded area, a watershed for the county.

As wildlife experts explain it, the “maximum biological carrying capacity of the reservation is roughly 20 deer per square mile, or about 68 for the entire 3.4 square miles of the area it occupies. At this point, after a decade of dithering, there are an estimated 300 to 400 deer.

Overseen by the South Mountain Conservancy, the deer have defeated years of planting seedlings to maintain the forest growth. It is worth keeping in mind that the forest area is home to other wildlife as well.

Starting January 29, for a five-week period, the entire reservation will be closed to the public for two days each week while fifteen sharpshooters, in the words of the local newspaper, “attempt to shoot as many deer as possible” from 20-foot tell stands during the daylight hours. That’s not hunting. That’s killing.

It is also an excellent example of how Mother Nature works and how utterly merciless and neutral she is. The culling of the deep population is vital and necessary to protect this ancient stand of trees and other undergrowth, but it has been occasioned by the sustained objections of “animal lovers” who refused to admit the entire reservation is being destroyed by the deer.

The irony here is that the real “environmentalists” will be the hunters.

All of the hunters will have demonstrated five years experience, have a valid New Jersey Firearm Hunting License and a Firearm Purchaser Identification Card.

As a child, I spent many a happy afternoon in the reservation with a couple of friends. I could walk to it from my home. I used to imagine that Lenni Lenapi Indians were hiding behind the trees. None of them had to get permission from the State to hunt. There was no State. The sheer numbers of the deer would have astonished them.

The best way to get a feel for the numbers would have been to drive into the part of Maplewood that borders the reservation around 2 A.M. in the morning. You would discover that you had to slow down to avoid hitting a small herd of them making their way across the street and on to the perfectly manicured lawns of homeowners. Ever so casually, the deer would make way for you, totally unafraid of the car with its headlights.

The deer are quite beautiful. Too bad there are so many of them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's More Costly Than Iraq? Illegal Immigration

Here are some statistics provided in a post from one of my favorite forums:

What's More Costly Than Iraq?

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year.

2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.

4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare and Social Services by the American taxpayers.

9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.

10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two-and-a-half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.

11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border. Homeland Security Report.

12. The National Policy Institute, "estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period." www.nationalpolicyinstitu...tation.pdf

13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. 14. "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States".

Total cost is a whooping... $338.3 BILLION A YEAR!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Green Desperation Time

By Alan Caruba

News of a January 31 “teach-in” on more than 1,000 college campuses nationwide strikes me of just one more example of the growing desperation of the environmental movement that has bet its credibility and influence on global warming.

Mark your calendar for any news about a March 2-4 conference in New York that is expected to draw between 400 and 500 global warming skeptics, i.e., scientists, economists, and policy experts. I suspect that print and broadcast journalists will do their best to ignore this event in what is arguably the media capitol of the nation, if not the world.

Organized by the Heartland Institute and co-sponsored by the International Climate Science Coalition, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and the Science & Environmental Policy Project, it should put to rest the very core of the “teach-in”, the notion that there is a consensus among the world’s scientists that global warming is happening or about to happen.

In one way, even the Greens are right. There is global warming and the reason is that it is a perfectly natural phenomenon based entirely on the activity of the Sun. No one disputes that the Earth has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit since the end of the last mini-ice age around 1850. And, as Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing.

What is not happening is a huge warming that is melting all the ice at the North and South Poles, causing hurricanes, or any of the several hundred other things attributed to global warming. It is definitely not something that human activity is causing or can “control” in any fashion. Try controlling the Sun, the oceans, clouds, volcanoes, et cetera!

As for the dreaded carbon dioxide, it represents 0.038% of the earth's atmosphere.

Alex Tinker, the public relations director of Focus the Nation, an environmental advocacy group, said that the teach-in would be a day when an entire college or university campus turns its attention to a single issue, global warming.

“The premise behind Focus the Nation is that ‘The Science is in. Global warming is real,” said Tinker. “There’s no longer a meaningful debate about whether or not global warming is caused by human kind—the debate should be about what policy solutions we need to enact to address it.”

This is a lie.

This perfectly articulates the Green’s agenda and the science is in, but it refutes all of the more fanciful claims made about global warming and its affect on, well, everything. The agenda, however, is not about global warming. It’s about doing everything possible to destroy the economy of the United States and all industrialized nations.

Anyone who tells you we can replace coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power with wind turbines and solar panels is blowing smoke up your skirt. The only way such “alternative” energy sources even exist is with millions in government subsidies, i.e., your tax money being thrown down an indefensible rat hole.

It’s worth noting that Tinker used the word “enact” with regard to the Greens proposed “solutions.”

The environmental movement exists to use legislation to force people to do their bidding. Its entire philosophy is coercive because they know that anyone with any common sense understands their “solutions” are idiotic. As but one example, the State of California recently floated the idea of being able to control the thermostats in private homes and elsewhere so that the decision of how much energy was used no longer would be exercised by the consumer.

In just the United States where our population now tops 300 million, do you really think we need less electricity to meet our needs?

Do you really think that we should not tap the estimated billions of barrels of crude oil in a tiny part of Alaska’s vast national wildlife reserve?

Do you think we should continue to limit exploration of 85% of the nation’s continental shelf?

Do you seriously believe that polar bears that have been around for millennia are “endangered” and will disappear by 2050?

And why have a national teach-in when every single day of the year every one of us is hammered with global warming propaganda? Why take college student’s time to blather away about global warming when they have had this nonsense forced down their throats since they were in pre-school?

I will tell you why. Desperation. Time is running out for the global warming hoax.

Focus the Nation says it wants to create support for the creation of "one million new 'green jobs' – workers who would service America’s infrastructure to be more ecologically friendly.” What the hell does that mean?

The nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges exists to serve the needs of millions of cars and trucks, and we know the Greens hate them because they run on gasoline and diesel.

The infrastructure includes power generation plants and we know the Greens hate the ones that use coal (providing over half of all the electricity in the nation) and oppose the building of nuclear plants.

I guess people who work for airlines or sea-going cargo lines should find another line of work as well because both use large amounts of energy to function.

Parents and the students who have taken on huge debt in order to attend college should tell Focus the Nation to focus on leaving the faculty to teach something that doesn’t come with an agenda that blames the human race for the climate and does not seek to undermine capitalism and the globalization that is increasing and spreading wealth throughout the world.

A Billion Here, A Billion There

Found this at one of my favorite forums.

The next time you hear a politician use the word "billion" in a casual manner, think about whether you want the "politicians" spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division . Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number, what does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

B. Or if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or if you are a family of four your family gets $2,066,012.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Arab's Bad Mood

By Alan Caruba

From the West’s point of view, the Middle East’s long history of authoritarian governments, its failed wars against Israel, its drift toward terrorism from Bali to London and, of course, to New York and Washington, D.C., one would feel justified to take a dim view of Arabs for their failure to express any tolerance towards the West and each other.

In a recent edition of The Economist, an interesting article examines the mood of the Arab street. “Many Arabs still see Mr. Bush’s 'war on terrorism' as a crusade against Islam. But many also note that al-Qaeda-style jihadism has killed more Muslims, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia to the squalid Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, than ‘infidels.’”

It may seem glib to say that the Arab’s many problems can be traced to one factor, Islam, but any student of history knows that Islam has accounted for why this region of the world has so consistently failed to advance at a pace comparable to Europe, the New World, and even Asia.

“Huge differences persist among 300-million Arabic speakers and 22 countries of the Arab League…Yet to travel through the Arab world right now is to experience a peculiar sameness of spirit. Particularly among people under 30, who make up the vast majority of Arabs, the mood is one of disgruntlement and doubt.”

Islam traps the mind with its absolutism, its assumption of moral superiority to all other religions, and its lack of tolerance. Even seeing the obvious superiority of other nation’s forms of government, quality of education, military and economic power, Arabs appear unable to accept or understand that Islam has stunted their ability to compete, trapping them in nations where a handful of hereditary monarchs or dictators keep the majority of their populations in relative poverty and weakness.

The short, ugly history of the Palestinians is an affront to Arabs who wonder, “If the Palestinians cannot unite in their own cause, why should other Arabs help them?” That said, the refusal to acknowledge the Jews’ historical claim to Israel, going back three millennia, also has made it impossible to achieve any Arab accommodation with the Jewish state.

The social traditions of Arabs, so fixed on family and tribe, have further ensured that Arabs encounter difficulties in terms of upward mobility within their societies. The corruption endemic to their societies further damages the advance of commerce. Arab educational institutions with their emphasis on rote learning rather than innovative thinking has left Arabs unable to compete in the larger world. And of what value is the Koran in a world of high technology and global communications and trade?

How can any modern society function when its population is expected to stop everything, face Mecca, and pray five times daily? How does a society function when its women are denied opportunities to contribute economically and politically?

The failure of Arab nations to adopt secular forms of government, believing as they do that all laws must come from Allah, further holds them captive to a faith that is more a cult than a true religion. It discourages democracy; the need to compromise and cooperate. As a result, governments in Arab (and Persian Iran) are merely the outward form of democracy without the substance of it.

Mostly, though, is the intellectual vacuum that exists in Arab nations. “More literature is translated into Spanish in a single year than the entire corpus of what has been translated into Arabic in 1,000 years.”

Religious texts that preach the superiority of Islam and not just the right, but the necessity of imposing it on the entire world, are bestsellers in Arab nations. This puts Arabs in constant conflict with other nations and, where they represent a large population, in conflict with host nations such as England and throughout Europe. The fanatics among them even pose a danger in moderate and modern Muslim nations.

After a short, early history of conquest that took Islam across northern Africa, up into Spain, and eastward into India, Islam has fallen on sad, bad times. Colonized by European nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the last century, invaded in this one by the United States, acting on its own and its allies’ behalf to destroy Islamism and seeking to transform its outlook on the wider world, Arabs are in a bad mood about their prospects.

It is unlikely Arabs and other Muslims will ever see Islam as their real problem, but its rigidity is the template that keeps them emotionally and intellectually trapped in the seventh century A.D.

It is far easier to blame the Jews or the “crusaders”, i.e. Christians, for their problems, but these “infidels” or unbelievers have left them in the dust. Now the West is engaged in an effort to drag them into the twenty-first century and the Arabs, resistant to change as always, must decide whether they prefer the past to the future.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The News From Nowhere

By Alan Caruba

Monday, being a holiday, and brutally cold, I did not venture forth to do any banking or marketing. The result was the opportunity to turn on the 24/7 television news channels and watch for more than my usual breakfast dollop of breezy chatter, weather, and pontifications.

As the day wore on, it became clear to me that, other than wall-to-wall coverage of the primary races in Florida and South Carolina, there was literally no news from anywhere else in the world. When was the last time you heard anything about what's happening in Italy? Or Japan? Taiwan? Sri Lanka?

If it were not for the clownish Venezuelan thug, Hugo Chavez, we would see no news from anywhere in South America. The last news out of the Caribbean was about the Halloway girl who disappeared in Aruba over a year ago, but the Caribbean is composed of many islands and nations like Barbados, Trinidad, and others.

What news of events in any foreign nation has been largely devoted to Iraq and even that has disappeared off the screen thanks to whatever passes for peace there. Were it not for Link TV and a clever show called “Mosaic”, Americans would never get to see nightly television news coverage from countries such as Qatar, Dubai, Lebanon, and even Israel.

I am not suggesting that news about the candidates competing to be their party’s champion for the presidency is not news, but that the near total fixation on the political races tends to lull Americans into forgetting that we are just one nation among many others in the world and each of them is making news in their own way.

While the holiday stilled the din of our stock markets, those in the rest of the world were suffering a scare that America’s economy was and is in trouble. They almost all took a nosedive. It was a reminder that what happens in America and to America dominates the economic outlook of nations far, far away even if our television news does not tell us who or even where they are.

We tend not to receive much news about any nation unless bombs are going off, but there is an economic bomb waiting to explode and it’s the future of the American economy, responding first to the sub-prime mortgage mess and, soon enough, the credit card mess of too much unpaid and unpayable outstanding credit. If you think the American banking system isn’t already in trouble, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

A one-time tax rebate isn’t going to do much, if anything, for the economy. The government will have to borrow it in order to pay it out. Cutting interest rates and further devaluing the dollar doesn’t seem like a good idea either, but putting the brakes on Congressional “pork” spending, cutting corporate taxes (we have some of the highest in the world), and other forms of economic stimulus does.

When the bill comes due for the bank’s mortgage loan debacle, then the credit liabilities, and then for Social Security and Medicare entitlement spending in a few years, you won’t even want to turn on the news.

Can One Be a Good Muslim and Good American?

I pass this along because it is thought provoking and, so far as I can determine, accurate. The question posed is whether one can be both a good Muslim and a good American?

Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)

Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.

Domestically, no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

Intellectually, no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically, no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually, no. Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is never referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 names .

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Anniversary of Reagan's Inaugural

By Alan Caruba

January 20 marks the 27th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s inaugural in 1981. The following day will be the anniversary of his 1985 inaugural. His two terms in office turned me from a knee-jerk (emphasis on the jerk) liberal and Democrat into a conservative Republican. I think he did that to a lot of others as well.

The only other President in the modern era to whom I can think to compare him is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Both significantly transformed the nation’s political life. Roosevelt created the era of Big Government, the Nanny State in which Americans looked to Washington, D.C., to protect them against everything from economic risk to natural disasters like Katrina. In truth, neither then, nor now, can government do this.

Indeed, it is, more often than not, the cause of economic problems with its environmental mandates, endless regulations, and of course its tax programs.

Born in 1937, I grew up in a home where Roosevelt was revered. He tried all manner of programs to get Americans out from under the burdens of the Great Depression and he made a lot of very good decisions about the conduct of World War II.

Whoever is our next President is going to be facing some very severe economic troubles and we better hope they will know how to resolve them. The entire banking structure, just as in the days of the Great Depression, will be severely tested because, in the end, it depends on that most elusive of all qualities, trust.

Reagan brought other qualities to the office that it dearly needed, confidence and optimism. He put an end to any second term damage that the then-President, Jimmy Carter, could do. Among the nation’s presidents, Carter is likely to be judged by historians as one of the worst. In 1980, most Americans had already come to that conclusion.

Reagan had the goal of bringing the Soviet Union to its knees and he did. That freed the world of his day from the menace of Communism. Bush43 knew he had to put the evil genie of a resurgent Islamic fundamentalism back in the bottle and he may well have set the stage for that.

I think Reagan would be very disappointed with the Republican Party today. Surely a lot of us who are Republicans feel that the party has lost touch with its principles of small government, a prudent fiscal policy, and a strong defense posture. The GOP lost control of Congress in the last election and, if the economy worsens, it may well lose the White House and its critical numbers in Congress that serve as a brake on the Democrats.

I frankly fear for a nation run by the wife of a former, flawed and feckless president, and by the likes of Rep. Pelosi in the House and Sen. Reid in the Senate. None have demonstrated anything but political gamesmanship and a naked desire for the reins of power. Even if Sen. Obama were to be elected, his youth and inexperience does not bode well for troubled times.

We are not going to be able to spend our way out of the present and looming crisis, but that will be the only thing any Democrat is going to try to do.

So I will celebrate this anniversary and say a prayer for America.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

There Will Be Blood. And Oil.

By Alan Caruba

I have spent the better part of the day writing about energy issues. One can chart history in many ways, wars being the most dramatic, but it is energy that largely determined what civilizations rose to prominence and which, today, bestride the earth.

At first there was only human energy. If something was to be done, it required sweat. Tools were invented to facilitate various tasks. Then came animals. They were domesticated for farming and, in the case of horses, for travel. Wind facilitated sailing for a very long time. In time came coal, steam, and electricity, but the most phenomenal of all was the energy unleashed from oil.

A new movie gaining lots of plaudits is “There Will Be Blood”, based on a book published in 1927. So what we are seeing is the viewpoint of a man, Upton Sinclair, from just over eighty years ago. A lot can change in eighty years, but one thing that hasn’t is the demagoguery the oil industry has always occasioned in American news media, literature, and films.

Sinclair’s book was about the early days of the California oil industry and featured a cast of characters that includes oil magnates, senators, Hollywood film starlets, and a crusading evangelist. It is widely regarded as a classic story of greed and corruption.

In the current edition of The Economist, a columnist known only as Lexington, wrote, “Flagellating the oil business is one of America’s proudest traditions. Ida Tarbell, the greatest of the muckraking journalists, accused Standard Oil of building its empire on ‘fraud, deceit, special privilege, gross illegality, bribery, coercion, corruption, intimidations, espionage or outright terror.’ Upton Sinclair demonized the oil barons in his 1927 novel, ‘Oil!’.”

Lexington notes that, “Today bookshop shelves are crammed with tomes denouncing the Bush oil dynasty, or predicting that America’s dependence on oil will bring environmental Armageddon.”

As both a writer on energy issues and a longtime book reviewer, I can attest to the truth of the latter. There are books devoted to the belief, “Peak Oil”, that the earth is running out of oil when there is no evidence whatever of that. The war in Iraq is often attributed to America’s oil needs.

Some people think Exxon Mobil owns most of the world’s oil reserves when, in fact, its holdings are a mere 1.08% of the world’s oil reserves. Combined with the other publicly owned major oil companies, that figure rises only to 4%. It no more determines the cost of a barrel of oil, a global commodity, than I do.

It is fashionable to denigrate Big Oil and “There Will Be Blood” will continue the myths surrounding the industry, but remember that you are watching an 80-year-old perspective on an industry without which every single car, truck, tractor, combine, and other vehicle dependent on the internal combustion engine would come to a stop.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Who Needs Electricity?

By Alan Caruba

Over at The National Anxiety Center website I have a commentary, “No Energy, Please” regarding the cold reception news of a proposed ExxonMobil “Blue Energy” project received when it was announced. It involves a billion dollar investment in a liquid natural gas storage site to be anchored in the Atlantic Ocean out of sight offshore of New Jersey. The LNG would then be transferred via a pipeline for distribution throughout the northeast. Since natural gas heats many homes in the region, one would think it would be welcome, but not by some NJ daily newspapers.

In fact, if you connect the dots, you will discover there’s no welcome to be found for any of the traditional forms of energy on which Americans depend to turn on the light. Electricity has become the chosen battleground for environmental groups who have laboring night and day to insure there will not be enough of it to meet our needs.

Take, for example, the exultant news release (Jan 17) from the Rainforest Action Network, “Proposed Coal Plants Losing Steam” celebrating “59 coal plants cancelled or shelved in 2007.” Since coal-fired utilities provide just over 50 percent of the electricity generated in America, one would think that building more plants would be a good thing.

The Greens, however, using the utterly bogus “global warming” hoax and asserting the false notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will transform the climate of the earth, are managing to deny Americans electrical power. There is no global warming and CO2 constitutes about 0.038% if the earth’s atmosphere. In past eras there was a lot more CO2 and the result was lush vegetation that kept a lot of dinosaurs munching away for several million years.

“Coal-fired power plants are the wrong investment for our climate, our health, and our economy,” said Becky Tarbotton, director of Rainforest Action Network’s Global Finance Campaign. (1) Such plants do not affect the climate. (2) Americans now have the longest life expectancy ever, so our health is not an issue. (3) Our economy is entirely based on the availability and provision of electrical and other forms of energy.

The Greens opposed nuclear energy so successfully we haven’t seen a new plant built in thirty years. If you want to reduce the cost of electricity, build a few and watch what happens. Consider what Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has to say:

“The construction of just one nuclear power station like Palo Verde (CA) in each of the 50 states, with a full complement of 10 reactors, would supply all of the energy that the United States currently imports—with, in addition and at current prices, $300 billion per year worth of excess energy to export.”

If we can’t get nuclear facilities built and we can’t get any new coal-fired plants, what does RAN propose? The same thing as the other Greens do. So-called “renewable energy.” And “efficiency.”

Neither solar, nor wind energy is EVER going to be able to produce the amount of energy Americans use and need. The laws of physics pretty much eliminate those “solutions” to our energy needs and, in the case of wind energy, the less the better because they chop countless thousands of birds and bats to death every year.

If this keeps up, we are going to run out of energy in America and the Greens will be to blame. I hope future Americans, gathered around a fireplace for warmth and to cook dinner will appreciate what a great job the Greens did to return them to the same conditions that existed from before the Revolution to fifty years after the Civil War.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hating Progress with a Passion

By Alan Caruba

The same day, January 15th, that the Food and Drug Administration announced its finding that food derived from cloned cattle, pigs and goats is safe to consume, Friends of the Earth issued a statement that it would gather signatures on a petition to put a stop to it.

“Tell grocers you aren’t buying it! Tell them you’ll stop shopping at stores that can’t promise not to sell such products.” Since food labels will not identify meat from a cloned animal, this is simply an impossible request. There simply is no need to do so.

It is also typical of the scare mongering that is the bread and butter (no pun intended) of groups like FOA. The Consumer Federation of America opposed it as did the Humane Society of the United States.

“We found nothing in the food that could potentially be hazardous. The food in every respect is indistinguishable from food from any other animal,” said FDA food safety chief, Dr. Stephen Sundlof. “It is beyond our imagination to even find a theory that would cause the food to be unsafe.”

The FDA spent six years tracking the safety of cloning. European regulators issued a draft report the previous week that reached the same conclusion. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences found no cause for concern.

This did not deter the FOA from claiming that “Cloned animals have a much higher rate of genetic abnormalities than animals that reproduce naturally.” If this was true it is doubtful the FDA would have issued its statement. An international group of scientists will issue guidelines later this year on how to clone safely and with minimal risk to the animals.

This is not about science, however. It is about the relentless war on progress that is common to environmental groups and others seeking to fatten their coffers by scaring people who will not take the time to learn the facts.

As the Associated Press story on the FDA announcement noted, “By its very definition, a successfully cloned animal should be no different from the original animal whose DNA was used to create it.” Indeed, the FDA concluded that cloned animals that are born healthy are no different than their non-cloned counterparts and go on to reproduce normally as well.

The same motivation that drives this latest opposition to cloned food stocks was seen earlier in the opposition to irradiation, probably the best way to kill any bacteria in meat products ever invented. The term may scare some people, but the process protects them.

The FDA and international approval means future generations will have sufficient meat products to eat thanks to the remarkable technology of cloning. After the mysteries of DNA were ultimately decoded, it was a natural next step to take.

Americans have to literally train themselves to resist the claims of environmental groups and, of course, those made by animal rights loonies. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently disclosed that its employees killed more than 97 percent of the dogs, cats, and other pets they took in during 2006. The Center has asked the State of Virginia to declare PETA to be a slaughterhouse.

The environmental and animal rights groups routinely engage in misinformation and disinformation.

Their ultimate motivation is a hatred for humanity and for any progress that serves it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The "Barbarity" of the West

By Alan Caruba

Every so often I receive an email from the London School of Islamics penned by Iftikhar Ahmad. They are so deceitful and filled with the sense of moral superiority that is endemic to Middle Eastern, i.e. Muslim, culture that they are utterly fascinating.

For all I know Ahmad and his school operates out of a store front with a laptop, but the man is a master of the most astonishing assertions.

“Honor killing and female infanticide come from Pagan-Hindu-Judeo-Christian traditions,” says Ahmad. It should be noted that Muslims say they respect Judaism and Christianity because they are religions that have a “book” whereas Hinduism is held in utter contempt instead of mere contempt.

“Muslim migrants,” writes Ahmad, “are worried about institutional racism, binge drinking, drug addiction, incivility, gun and knife crimes, high rate of abortions, and teen age pregnancies. An average of 20 English girls under the age of 16 falls pregnant every day.” That’s a lot to worry about and how Muslim migrants can even bear to allow their daughters out on the streets of London or any other English city or town boggles the mind.

A brief note at this point: Middle Eastern Muslims are totally obsessed with sex. Who has it. Who might have it. Who is not permitted to have it. If you think that American or British society is awash in sexuality, Muslim societies are so repressed and oppressed about sex that they are driven crazy by Western openness in movies, on television, in print, on the Internet, and everywhere else.

Mohammed apparently thought about it a lot. He had several wives, the last of whom was prepubescent.

“Muslim parents do not want their children to be integrated into such barbarity.” Okay, then take your Muslim-selves back to wherever you came if the thought of living in England is so abhorrent.

“The tragedy of forced marriage and honor killing could have been avoided if the poor girls were educated in a single-sex state funded Muslim school by female Muslim teachers.” Oh? So Ahmad does want to live in London? And it’s okay for other Muslims to live there (they cannot build new mosques fast enough) so long as Muslim children are kept apart from the British school system. Said Muslim schools, however, should be funded by the secular state.

This will “protect Muslim child from the onslaught of Eurocentrism, homosexuality, racism and secular values, and traditions.” Please, explain to me again why the hell you are still living in England????

In some Middle Eastern nations such as Iran, they have found a solution to homosexuality. They kill homosexuals. That’s right. It’s a crime. In nations like Afghanistan, it’s a crime punishable by death if you convert to Christianity. In Saudi Arabia there are so many capitol crimes that getting your head lopped off for just about anything is a strong possibility.

When it comes to "barbarity", I think it’s fair to say that we Westerners have seen enough Muslim-inspired barbarity than we ever wanted to know about. Beheadings shown on Muslim Jihadist Internet sites, suicide bombers in the subways and on the buses of London, and of course 9/11 here in the U.S. In Israel, the barbarity is a daily dose of rockets out of Gaza.

However, Ahmad’s solution to the “barbarity” of living in England is as follows: “There are hundreds of state schools where Muslims are in (the) majority. Such schools may be handed over to Muslim educational Trusts or charities for their management.”

Until those of us in the West, i.e., in Europe, Great Britain, Canada and the United States begin to understand that Muslims, once they gain any majority of population anywhere, intend to completely transform their host nations into Muslim nations, the destruction of Western values and traditions will continue.

There are some things worth fighting to preserve.

From what I know of England, there are fewer in the ruling elite willing to do this. In America, political correctness does not permit us to openly address this threat.

All of which is to say that having our troops in the Middle East to protect us—and them—from their barbarity is probably a good idea.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Murray Sabrin and New Jersey. Perfect Together.

By Alan Caruba

My friend, Murray Sabrin, PhD is running for U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Some might argue that anyone with any sense should be running as far away from New Jersey as possible, but they simply have no appreciation for the joys of high property taxes, high sales taxes, a state income tax, and spending as much to drive its toll roads as it costs to fly first class anywhere in the United States of America.

I received a call from him the other day—fund raising of course, but I had to disappoint him because, from my days as a fulltime journalist, I have resisted donating to politicians in order to remain “independent”, “unbiased”, and, as always, reluctant to part with my money when it comes to politics. The proof of this are the endless dunning letters and calls I receive from the Republican National Committee.

You can learn all about Murray by visiting his campaign website at

Suffice it to say Murray is running as a Republican candidate, though he is at heart a Libertarian. These are people who are besotted with the Constitution. They actually believe it means what it says and that it doesn’t take a Supreme Court justice to explain it to you. Imagine that? They also believe in small government and the smaller the better. They are all about individual liberty, but also about individual responsibility.

Libertarians would be Republicans if they could only climb down off of Cloud Nine and join the rest of us skeptics and cynics. At last count, there were at least seven Libertarians living in New Jersey. There are at least twice that number of registered Republicans.

Murray will be running against Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat. The other Senator is Robert Menendez, also a Democrat. Neither one of these two gentlemen ever saw a loony liberal piece of legislation he would not instantly embrace.

Sen. Lautenberg is old. I mean he’s so old that old people look at him and say he’s old.
I don’t recall all the circumstances but Lautenberg, then already retired from public office, was put on the ticket about two hours after a smarmy New Jersey politician named James Torricelli had to resign under a cloud of suspicion for something. In practice, all New Jersey politicians are under suspicion for something. Or should be.

It was as if Dr. Frankenstein had hooked up Lautenberg to his machine, Igor pulled the switch, and the entire New Jersey Democrat Party shouted, “He’s alive! He’s alive!” The New Jersey Supreme Court, after whom several characters of The Sopranos are rumored to have been modeled, blessed the circumstances of Lautenberg’s resuscitation.

When he informed me of his decision to run a few weeks ago I said, “Have you lost your mind?” but he replied, “Somebody has to.” When it comes to the Garden State, this is irrefutable logic.

The Republican Party is rumored to exist here, but it is a weak thing. The chances of its candidate’s election to any office are slim to none in a state that votes for people like former Governor Jim McGreevey who had to resign due to an acute case of homosexuality or the current Governor, Jon Corzine, who’s planning to solve the State’s budget crisis by putting tolls on one-way streets, cul-de-sacs, and bicycle paths. A zillionaire, he has lost any connection to people who actually have to work for a living.

Murray, when not running for office, is a distinguished professor at Ramapo College. A prolific writer on all things political and economic, his credentials are impressive.

The State motto used to be “New Jersey and You. Perfect Together.” We can amend it to say that New Jersey and Murray Sabrin would be perfect together.

Monday, January 14, 2008

She's Not Martin Luther Clinton

By Alan Caruba

It is truly wonderful to watch Hillary Clinton try to talk herself out of the hole she has dug by suggesting that, without President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Civil Rights Act would never have been passed.

Actually, a lot of the credit goes to President Kennedy who was working toward its passage when he was assassinated. So, yes, these two Democrat presidents expedited the legislative aspects of the dream Martin Luther King Jr had nurtured.

The quintessential politician, LBJ for much of his early career voted with the Southern bloc of Congress against every civil rights bill that came before it. Historians believe he genuinely thought that segregation was wrong and welcomed the opportunity to end it, but after signing the 1964 bill, Johnson is famously remembered as saying to his aide, Bill Moyers, “I think we have just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.”

The Clintons, whose past residences were in Arkansas, acquired such an aura of affinity for Black Americans that Bill basked in the fiction of being called the first Black President of the United States. The prospect of an actual Black President must be driving the Clinton’s crazy.

Years and years ago, following a speech at Drew University in New Jersey, I was taken backstage to meet Dr. King. As is often the case with such eminences he actually stood alone as people were in such awe they could not bring themselves to approach, but this has never been a problem for me.

As a journalist, we are expected to engage such folks and Dr. King was delighted when my companion introduced me. When he learned I was there freelancing for a Black newspaper, his face broke into a broad smile. Why is that, he asked? I told him that black or white, all money is green. That tickled him further. Some small talk ensued and that was my brief moment with him.

What I didn’t tell him was that, while having been stationed in Georgia with the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, I had vivid memories of Black soldiers not being allowed to sit in the main waiting room of the bus station in Columbus as well as other experiences that fixed the ugliness of segregation in my mind.

Until Brown v. Board of Education and the integration of the Little Rock High School, enforced by the Eisenhower administration; until Martin Luther King, Jr. organized the movement to boycott Montgomery’s discriminatory bus system; until he led marches, was imprisoned in Birmingham, and mobilized the better angels of our souls, there was no civil rights movement and neither Presidents Kennedy nor Johnson would have been under much pressure to end the last vestiges of the Civil War.

I have yet to identify anything of lasting merit that President Clinton did during his eight years in office, nor anything Hillary Clinton has done while Senator from New York that comes close to rivaling the achievement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Suggesting it depended on LBJ reveals her cast of mind that only politicians can bring about change.

Both Clintons were and are intent on wielding the power of the Oval Office for their personal gain. Whatever idealism they may have had in their youth has long since been drained from their plastic personalities.

What Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. achieved, he did because of his profound belief in the transformative power of justice by and for all Americans.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yankee Go Home!

By Alan Caruba

President Bush continues his Middle East trip, having been to Israel where he spent three days pretending that the Palestinians can actually agree to peace after sixty years of rejecting every effort towards that rational goal.

He is currently visiting a number of oil-producing Gulf States and will visit Egypt, no doubt to see the pyramids. While the official welcomes will be cordial, the press of the Middle East, according to Gulf Times, published in Qatar, is offering a different point of view.

Syria, no friend to the United States, despite having sent a representative to the Annapolis conference to revive the moribund “peace process” with Israel, said that, “All that comes from the White House are hollow words,” said the official Ath-Thawra newspaper. A dictatorship now into its second generation, the views of Syrians should be taken with a grain of salt.

In Egypt, Al Wafd, regarded as a “liberal opposition newspaper”, described the President as “the most hateful visitor” to the region and a “war criminal.” Egypt has received billions in foreign aid over the years from the U.S. In order to regain the Sinai desert, lost to Israel after Egypt attacked in the 1967 war, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President, was rewarded for this act of statesmanship by being assassinated.

“You are lying as you have lied before to the people of the Middle East and to your own people,” said Al Wafd. Actually, President Bush repeatedly warned Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to obey the many United Nations resolutions at the risk of being deposed. One thing’s for sure, Bush wasn’t lying.

In Jordan, though not among those nations visited, political analyst Rami Khouri said that Washington’s refusal to accept the verdict when groups like the Islamist Palestinian group, Hamas, was elected to power, left Bush open to accusations of hypocrisy. “If you preach majority rule and the rule of law as a desirable global norm, but refuse to respect it when Israel’s interests are concerned, you come across as a hypocrite, at best, and a deceitful cheat, at worst.”

All the Palestinian election demonstrated was that sixty years of brainwashing voters to want nothing less than Israel’s destruction was reflected in the outcome. People have famously voted for bad political parties, from the Nazi Party in Germany to the Venezuelans who elected Hugo Chavez, a friend and admirer of Fidel Castro, to office. In the case of Hamas, it killed a few Fatah (PLO) party functionaries and drove Mahmoud Abba into the safety of the West Bank where Israel could protect him. Its main function in Gaza is to fire rockets into Israel.

In Dubai, busily trying to buy up as many American assets as possible, the Gulf News published a front-page letter to President Bush concerning his Administration’s policies in the Middle East, focusing of course on U.S. support for Israel which it maintains exists solely for the “oppression” of Palestinians. It said the President had “no moral right to lecture others.” One might argue that Saddam Hussein had no moral right to invade Iran and conduct a war for eight years, only to later invade Kuwait.

The leaders of these nations know that the only thing between them and permanent residence in Switzerland or Monaco is the protection of the United States.

The fixation on Israel and the Palestinians reflects the difficulties of any diplomatic effort to get Middle Eastern nations to embrace any kind of democracy for their own people. All that oil revenue insulates the local sheiks from having to share power.

Bearing in mind that these newspaper clearly have an impact on the opinions of millions of Middle Easterners, their less than generous “welcome” cannot be discounted as a factor in what will be a long-term resistance to any common sense resolution to the region’s most pressing need, its connection to the rest of the world in terms of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, and other standards pioneered by the West and practiced—you guessed it—in Israel.

Ultimately, the President’s trip seems to be directed at mobilizing these nations to the threat posed by Iran. If it succeeds in that, it will have been worth the effort.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Beautiful People

By Alan Caruba

Every generation selects its standard of beauty, usually from the world of show business. The fashion industry exists to herd people toward the purchase of a particular “look” that signals you have fallen in line with the majority.

In the Sixties, a whole generation of young people decided to opt out of fashion standards by letting their hair grow long and wearing clothes that looked unwashed and unwanted, but even their choices were turned into a fashion statement in the form of mini-skirts and blue jeans. I was already out of college by then and thought the circus had come to town.

Few recall that when Elvis and the Beatles first showed up they were wearing coats and ties like the perfect young gentlemen they were. You can check the re-runs of the Ed Sullivan Show if you don’t believe me.

I got to thinking about this while pausing to watch a bit of a film from the 1950s about the birth of rock’n roll when the skirts ended well below the knee. The music was great, but the fashion statement was pure geek. The dancing though had plenty of hip movement and there wasn’t a fox trot or waltz in sight.

It struck me, for no particular reason, that today’s movie stars, particularly the men, have more of an “every man” look about them. Adam Sandler or Ben Stein could be flipping hamburgers or selling insurance without generating any talk about what a “hunk” they are. Young comedians often look like they just came on stage from having pumped gas somewhere.

The look of this decade is to have no look.

The male role models of my day were handsome to a point that any young man in the audience knew he was never going to be as stunning as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, or the young Paul Newman. We would never be as rugged as John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen, and, of course, Humphrey Bogart. You have to have a lot of machismo to get past a name like Humphrey. And Bogart had it. A very young Lauren Bacall married him when he was in his 40s.

This is not to say that there aren’t a lot of handsome men and beautiful women today from whom to choose, but too many of the woman are poor role models for their lack of moral values and too many of the men are grungy on screen and off. When you toss in stars from the music scene, it just gets worse. In fact, the problem may be that, today, there are so many “stars” it is hard to tell them apart except for those going to or getting out of prison or rehab.

I feel sorry for a younger generation that must struggle to learn proper moral values because they surely cannot find them on the movie or television screen. I think there has to be a lot of confusion for young men seeking a role model to help them define their masculinity. Girls may have it worst of all. They are led to believe that the old concepts of femininity, i.e., virginity, modesty in dress and manner, and the ambition to be a wife and mother, are hopelessly out of date.

The problem, of course, is that the old-fashioned values served society quite well and still do. Rampant divorce, single motherhood, and using drugs are just a few things that were generally unknown and always disapproved in the 1950s and earlier.

A society sees itself reflected back from the movie and television screens. A lot of what I see today makes my skin crawl.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Trouble, Trouble, Trouble

By Alan Caruba

I never fail to be amazed by all the problems there are in the world and the fact that we now learn about them instantly, no matter that they are occurring on the other side of the planet.

One problem is “wheat rust Ug99”. In times past, we would not have been asked to know or learn a thing about this fungus, but a story about it moved on one of the news sites and it turns out that it is now threatening wheat crops in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. It is a form of black stem rust, first discovered in Uganda in 1999. Now think about it. It has gone from Africa to the Middle East and Asia in just under a decade!

It is killing wheat harvests and it is impervious to the usual fungicides or other chemicals applied. It is a variant of Puccinia graminis fungus and that is what Mother Nature does. Just when you get the handle on one threat to the crops, she comes up with a new twist. Famed scientist and father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, says there are only three weapons available; fungicides, wheat breeding to create a resistant strain, and luck. Yes, luck! How’s that for bad news?

Translation: the cost of all food products that involve wheat is going to rise, perhaps dramatically, if a solution to this new crop threat is not found and soon. Every current strain of wheat around the world is susceptible to this fungus.

Americans have not been spared bad news this past week in the form of tornadoes showing up in places where they have been considered rare events. The weather got very nasty.

I tell people that Mother Nature has a message for mankind. It’s “Get out of the way! Here comes a tornado, a flood, a wildfire, a blizzard, a tsunami, an earthquake.”

There’s even a volcano in Ecuador threatening to erupt. It’s called Tungurahua and that just sounds like a volcano’s name! It’s 80 miles southeast of Quito and, if it goes off like Pinatubo did in the Philippines, it could change the weather of the planet for a couple of years. It would cool the planet, not warm it.

What is amazing is that there are people who actually claim that they or anyone else can “control” the weather and, thinking long term, the climate. They run around wailing about “climate change” hoping no one will say, “But the climate and the weather changes all the time.”

That's the pitch, however, that the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and all the rest of the fear-mongers who keep telling everyone. They keep saying that if we just “conserve” energy or switch to some “alternative” form of energy, we will “save” the Earth. Oh yeah?

You can’t really “conserve” energy. You either use it or you don’t. Try getting through the day without using it. Imagine being dependent on whether the wind is blowing for a couple of watts from a windmill or the sun is shining so a solar panel can churn out a watt or two?

These planet-savers can’t do diddly when it comes to wheat rust Ug99. They can’t control a hurricane. They can’t stop a blizzard. What they can do is get lots of money from suckers who think they can.

These same suckers don’t have any idea how these environmental groups are working day-in and day-out to impede progress for real farmers, real ranchers, real people who risk their lives to find new sources of oil and natural gas, real people who are trying to build a new nuclear or coal-fired plant. In short, the people that feed us and make sure there’s gas for your car and heat for your home or apartment.

Electricity? Try running your computer without it.

There will always be plenty of bad news and it won’t just be thanks to Mother Nature. Mankind has a pure genius for making trouble. When it comes in the form of a big state government, it comes with a guarantee that individual freedoms will be lost and lots of people will be killed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prelude to a Palestinian Bloodbath

By Alan Caruba

One of the most astonishing aspects of President Bush’s visit to Israel is the demand for a Palestinian “State.” Such a state exists. It is called Jordan.

In 1922-23, the League of Nations gave the British a formal mandate to govern Palestine, making them responsible for “putting into effect the declaration…in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The British set aside land, more than three times the size apportioned to Jews, which was then called Trans-Jordan.

Arab attacks on the Jews who emigrated were a constant factor in the pre-Israel decades, including riots in Jerusalem and Hebron. In Europe, as WWII raged, the Nazis set about the deliberate extermination of the continent’s Jews, resulting in the deaths of six million.

When on November 29, 1947 the United Nations ended the British Protectorate of “Palestine” it created a partition. When Israelis established themselves as a sovereign nation, the immediate Arab response by Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, and Iraq, was to attack its Jewish population.

There has never been any peace between the enemies of Israel and the so-called Palestinians, nor by extension the entire Muslim world.

Here then is the dilemma of a Palestinian state. A friend and fellow blogger who goes by the name of Longstreet who is not Jewish postulates that, “Once there is a state of Palestine, Israel will no longer be fighting a bunch of terrorists and thugs; she’ll be defending herself against a nation/state…a nation/state backed by the United Nations. For all intents and purposes, to create a Palestinian state is to create another terrorist state!”

Like many American Christians, Longstreet is not sympathetic to “a people who openly rejoiced by dancing, and singing, in the streets when their fellow Muslims slammed those airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and killed 3,000 of my countrymen.” He decries having “U.S. dollars being poured into that rat hole to be used to arm terrorists who kill Jews…”

While one can argue that Jordan is the “Palestinian state”, there has never been one recognized as such. Jordan is ruled by a monarchy descended from Arab bedouins.

Amidst the calls by the President and others for a Palestinian state, Rachel Newuirth, writing about “The Arab ‘Right of Return’ to Israel”, noted that, “First and foremost, the Palestinian Arabs were primarily the aggressors in the 1948 war, not innocent victims of the ‘Zionists’ as their spokesmen and advocates claim.” Then, citing numerous sources, she documents the actual events.

Most damning are the words of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Yassir Arafat’s closest advisor and now the present head of what is left of the Palestinian Authority, who in March 1976 wrote that, “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny, but instead they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe.”

A former Syrian Prime Minister, Khaled al-Azm, writing in his memoirs, published in 1973, confirmed that, “Since 1948, it is we who demanded the return of the refugees, while it is we who made them leave. We brought disaster upon a million Arab refugees by inviting them and bringing pressure on them to leave. We have accustomed them to begging…all this in the service of political purposes.”

The role of the United Nations in all this has been a crime against humanity. Through UNWRA, an agency that exists solely for the maintenance of the Palestinian’s refugee status, the claims of a “right of return” have been kept alive while leaving Palestinians locked into an impossible limbo that denies Israel’s right to exist.

This has been accomplished for sixty years by pouring in millions to underwrite “all or most of their housing, food, education through college and graduate school, medical care and social services, provided to them for free by UNWRA.” Ms. Newuith notes that, “No Americans or Europeans have benefited from such a generous and all-encompassing welfare state.”

It gets worse. “On top of UNWRA assistance, the Palestinian Arabs also receive a total of a billion dollars a year in aid from other United Nations agencies, the United States, the European Community, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, and Iran.”

Nowhere in the discussion of the Arab “right of return” is any mention of “The more than 850,000 Jews who have either been expelled or fled from Arab and other Muslim countries since the Arab world initiated hostilities against the Jews of Israel-Palestine in 1947.”

The present-day Palestinians Arabs are now further divided between the PLO and Hamas, the militant jihadist party that recently staged a coup d’etat in Gaza, effectively seizing control of the area from which Israel unilaterally withdrew, perhaps in the hope that ceding more land would dampen their desire to destroy the Jewish nation.

A Palestinian state is one of the truly horrid political solutions to a situation created by Arab aggression against the state of Israel. These so-called Palestinians should be absorbed into Arab nations that border Israel. The fact that they did not represents the intention and hope of destroying Israel, an aspiration expressed by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to “wipe them from the map.”

To achieve this goal, the Iranians and others would have to initiate an Armageddon. To create a Palestinian state would be a prelude to the destruction of Arabs, denied citizenship in Arab nations, for political and religious reasons set forth in the Koran.

The United Nations keeps them alive as pawns in the war against Israel. Ironically, the United Nations has been forced to patrol southern Lebanon to keep Palestinians, backed by Syria and Iran, from attacking Israel once again.

The United Nations, along with the genocidal aspirations of the Arabs, is the problem, not the solution.

That problem is now being exacerbated by the policies of the Bush Administration. It reverses America’s long support for Israel by appearing to seek an end to a problem that will continue until the myth of a separate and distinct Palestinian people is put to rest.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Of Polls and Pundits

By Alan Caruba

I must admit that I was greatly amused to learn that all of the polls and pundits regarding the New Hampshire primary elections were WRONG.

As a longtime member of the pundit world in which my thoughts on anything are held in fairly high esteem, I got down on my knees last night and thanked a merciful God that I did not weigh in with an opinion on the event or the candidates.

The truth is that I rarely write about politics and the reason is simple enough; there are so many others that do. Moreover, every citizen of the United States of America has their own opinion on matters political and this is as it should be.

The New Hampshire primary will be seen in hindsight as a triumph of political organizing. It will be noted that Hillary’s campaign managed to get every potential voter, including a few found in intensive care units, to the polls to pull the lever or to gingerly touch the screens of scary new computerized voting machines.

It is significant, however, that the print and broadcast media journalists and experts got it so wrong in the lead-up to the actual vote count. Some of them even admitted falling in love with Barack Hussein Obama or feeling sympathetic to Hillary.

It is thus essential to keep in mind that we have many more primaries to go including February’s “Super Tuesday” which should decide which candidates secure sufficient delegates to their respective political conventions to wrap up the nomination. If, however, both parties remain sufficiently divided, we are in for a historic election year.

As Yogi Berra, a famed baseball philosopher, once said, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Official Apologies as Empty Gestures

By Alan Caruba

The front page of the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest circulation daily, had a story on January 8, “Jewish Cemetery Vandalized.” In its New Jersey news section inside the paper, among the “Action in Trenton” roundup, was a short item, “Apology for slavery sails through legislature.”

I wonder if there will be an apology for the damage done to the graves of dead Jews? Not likely. Perhaps it was just some teenage vandals or perhaps it was some kind of Islamofascist message being sent?

Germany has made significant efforts to apologize for the Holocaust, but anyone who lives there will tell you that considerable anti-Semitism exists among the generations born well after that event. In many Middle East nations, the Holocaust—the deliberate murder of some six million Jews—continues to be denied.

In the United Nations, there’s a resolution condemning acts of hatred against religions, but the only one specifically named is Islam. Condemning Islam as the source of the atrocities that have been occurring in recent decades is apparently a bad thing.

These thoughts, however, are not about anti-Semitism. They are about the efficacy of apologies. This is particularly true of apologies for events in which the current residents of New Jersey or any other State did not participate. In short, why bother? What good does it do?

Slavery had been part of America’s history almost from the beginning. It was widespread throughout the world and was (and is) a mark of man’s inhumanity to man. The Founding Fathers found the issue of slavery so intractable they concluded that it should be ignored while fashioning the world’s oldest living Constitution.

A century later the northern and southern states fought a war in which slavery was the moral cause, but other issues such as state’s rights and tensions over economic issues were the driving forces. In 1800, there were 12,422 slaves in New Jersey. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments clarified issues of citizenship and rights of former slaves after the Civil War. This was then followed by a hundred years of segregation and the denial of those rights until, in the 1960s, these wrongs were laid to rest.

All of which is to say that history often is a very long and frequently painful journey to achieve a moral and legal resolution to societal wrongs. Today, a mulatto with an Islamic name is running for President. The U.S. Secretary of State is Black. Her predecessor was Black. There’s a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the struggle for racial equality. Some people would call that progress.

Some people, however, have to demand apologies. Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Maryland have issued apologies. There are similar bills pending in Massachusetts, New York, and Arkansas.

I cited the desecration of the Jewish cemetery to remind us that hate never really goes away. There will always be people who hate Jews. There will always be people who hate Blacks. Official apologies for past wrong will not change this. They are vacant gestures and, in my opinion, an affront to those who did not participate in, nor condone, past wrongs.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Not all "Change" is Good

By Alan Caruba

Americans have become drunk again on the notion of change. This happens every four years when some candidate says they are going to go to Washington, D.C., and change things there. Usually that politician lives in Washington, D.C. most of the year. The one thing anyone inside the Beltway knows is that changing the federal government may well be impossible.

The federal government is where truly bad ideas become entire departments with Cabinet Secretaries and vast staffs all conjuring up new “programs” in order to avoid losing a dime of the budget allocated to them. If you don’t spend it, some other department will get it!

Spending money is what Washington, D.C. is all about and, with a $13 trillion economy and the “skim” we call taxes, that means there’s lots of money to spread around. Government is a major industry and, worse, one that can destroy other industries. It can legislate you out of business.

That’s why all that gassy talk about Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Big Insurance is scary. Those are industries that employ lots of Americans, provide goods and services to lots of Americans, and are not in business to piss off lots of Americans.

So here we are trying to choose a new leader, a President whose job is described and limited by the U.S. Constitution. He has veto power. He has to report to Congress on the state of the Union once a year. He is the Commander-in-Chief of our military. And he is mostly in charge of foreign policy. He is the third leg of a three-legged stool called the federal government. He must share power with Congress and the Supreme Court.

Thus, the President, no matter who he is, has limitations on how much change he can bring about and, when you are dealing with something as vast as the federal government where thousands of federal employees can pretty much ignore you if they choose, you must depend on department and agency heads to steer the behemoth as much as possible where you want it to go.

Even Barack Hussein Obama must know that. Surely Hillary Rodham Clinton does. So does John McCain and even big ole’ Fred Thompson. If elected, Mitt Romney, who has been a Governor, might find a few surprises by comparison.

The United States of America is in serious financial trouble and that is where change must be focused and where it is least likely to be, given the capacity of Congress to ignore the problem.

For thirty-one of the last thirty-five years, the U.S. has spent more on government programs and services than it has collected in taxes.

To cover the difference, the government borrows money and right now the debt is around $9 trillion.

I often write about the tyranny of demography. It’s not just how many people live in the United States or sneak into it illegally, it’s how old they are as well. An entire generation of “Boomers” is retiring and will need more medical care. That fact alone means that by 2040 every last dime this nation collects will not be enough to fund Social Security and Medicare, and all the rest of the programs it currently funds.

Lastly, a lot of our national debt is held in foreign nations and, if they decide the U.S. dollar isn’t as solid as it has been, they might just decide to put their money in China or the European Union as a safer bet. These days, millions, if not trillions, move electronically at the speed of sound every day.

And here’s where it gets really difficult. These programs came out of Democrat administrations and reflect Democrat values, casting a big safety net for Americans. Even Republicans like George W. Bush added a prescription program that costs billions more. It’s one thing to send out those checks every month and quite another to make the reductions to the federal government and its spending frenzies that will be needed to insure the money is there.

Sometimes, like 9/11 change is thrust upon a nation. Out of that singular terrorist attack, the United States will surely be in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who knows where else in the Middle East for at least a generation or more.

Sometimes change is just one really bad idea like the Department of Education. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a single reference to education as a function of the federal government. I’m pretty sure there’s no reference to Housing and Urban Development, but we have a department for that, too. The former has ruined the nation’s educational system and the latter is a sinkhole of badly conceived projects.

So, yes, change is needed, but it will not be the kind of change most Americans want. And it will not be the kind of change anyone running for President is going to talk about.